Layoffs, program cuts begin at Mizzou following budget address

3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago June 05, 2017 Jun 5, 2017 Monday, June 05 2017 Monday, June 05, 2017 4:24:00 PM CDT in News
By: Claire Peralta, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

COLUMBIA - MU campus officials started implementing program cuts and layoffs following UM System President Mun Choi's budget remarks on Friday.

Due to budget cuts, a total of 307 administrative, faculty and staff positions have been or will be eliminated, according to the MU News Bureau. 136 vacant positions will remain unfilled and 171 positions will be eliminated through attrition, retirement or layoffs.

In addition, 86 positions in auxiliary units of Student Affairs and Athletics will be eliminated, the MU News Bureau announced. Auxiliary units are departments or divisions that receive no state funding.

“Those who are being separated from MU are not at fault in any way,” Interim Chancellor Stokes said in an email to colleagues. “Indeed, we are losing talented and dedicated administrators, faculty and staff, some who have served the university faithfully for many years. This is a painful step that circumstances have required us to take.”

Stokes informed email recipients of the Employee Assistance Program, a resource created to assist those directly affected by budget cuts.

Departments began notifying those affected by the cuts and plans Monday. One example: the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) announced program reductions due to the school’s request for a 12% reduction in general revenue allocation (GRA), which consists of state appropriations and tuition for 2018.

As a result, the B.S. in Science and Agricultural Journalism will be phased out, B.S. in Agricultural Economics will be consolidated with Agriculture Business Management degree, and graduate degrees in the Division of Applied Sciences will be combined into single masters and doctoral degrees with emphasis areas. Additionally, there will be a number of low-enrollment undergraduate emphasis areas either eliminated or consolidated across all graduate and undergraduate CAFNR degree programs.

Annual capacity funds from the USDA through the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will not be impacted by this reduction.

Currently-enrolled students will be given the opportunity to finish their degree or transfer to another program.

The cuts will also impede CAFNR’s ability to refill open or opening vital faculty lines, and extension programs in Community Development and Agriculture and Natural resources will see additional impacts.

“Our guiding principles were to protect the student experience and our important research programs,” Marc Linit, interim vice chancellor and dean of CAFNR, said. “Your college leadership worked hard to identify sources of annual expenditures that could be reduced or eliminated without significant impact on our ability to deliver our academic and research programs.”

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